Tag Archives: denial

Fictional parallels

So, the plotline of one of the characters on Blindspot continues to unfold. I had initially thought that they dropped the story line, but they moved forward with it the last several episodes. 

It originally stared last season when one of the agents ended up arresting his former coach/mentor on child sex abuse charges. The agent (Reade) initially thought that only his peers had been abused, but one of his old friends from that time clued him in to his own abuse. Reade had no memory of any of it. His only hint at proof came from a tape with his own name on it that he found in the coach’s apartment among the stash of tapes the coach made of the abuses.

They introduced some minor hints around it being accurate, but they didn’t focus much on it. Mostly, they showed Reade’s avoidance of it. Looking back, they did a pretty decent job of portraying the denial/overwhelm stage of remembering abuse. 

The most recent episode ended with Reade sitting down with Zapata to watch the tape he had stolen from the apartment. 

The whole story has my interest piqued. I can relate to so much of it: the total dissociation of any memories for decades, the sudden confrontation with an alternate “truth”, the anger, the denial, the pushing it away… I find myself holding my breath to see what happens next. I want to know that I’m not totally alone in how I’m experiencing things… and I want to have some sort of guidebook through all of this. I know Dr C says this isn’t abnormal, but it’s nice to see it presented that way more places than just her office. It’s kinda like feeling alone for so long, then finding someone else that sees things the same way you do. I know it’s just a TV show (and they can still take it in the direction of Reade never actually having been abused), but it’s relatable… it’s the same relief I find in going to the new group (though that is technically over as of Monday). 

I dunno… I forgot where I was going with this post. Maybe it was about finding something to relate to? I dunno… Blindspot is proving to be a decent show despite the frequent cheesey-ness. And unlike Nashville, it’s handling the child abuse ramifications more accurately. Nashville introduced ptsd basically in one episode, then “resolved” it in the next. Blindspot is taking a more accurate approach to the topic. I just hope they follow through on it rather than end it with the whole thing simply being a “scare” for the character…


Kinda lost

Saw Dr C today. We did some art. It was around the concept of a baby, and how to keep that baby safe…

It came about because of my panic yesterday around the concept of ever having been a baby. I don’t really remember yesterday’s session, but I remember the dread and fear and panic and denial around her statement that I was born a good baby. All I could think was that I was never a baby… I couldn’t even fathom the concept of ever having been a baby. I knew at the time that pictures of “me” as a baby existed. I knew somewhere in my head that it’s impossible to be alive without ever having been a baby, but I couldn’t admit/understand/connect to ever having been one.

Later, after the session (and again today), I am mad at her for suggesting it. Part of me knows it’s a simple biological truth; I was at one time a baby, but… I wasn’t (or I can’t bring myself to accept it). There’s this huge fear around acknowledging that I may ever have been a baby. It pisses me off to think about it. The image that comes into my head when I think of myself as a baby is scary… I don’t want it.

Even now, as I write this, I’m angered by the thought of being a baby… angered and scared terrified. It feels like someone might die; like I might die… and my heart rate soars through the roof… and I want to shred my body into a million little pieces so I don’t have to feel the fear and body sensations…

I don’t really know what to do with myself. Whatever was stirred yesterday in session, and re-surfaced today, is continuing to stir and bubble. I don’t know how to process it. I’m not sure what to make of it. The thought of more surfacing is intimidating. It’s creepy & scary & enraging… I hate it.

The baby in the art today had no face, or feet, or hands (though I painted in hands after she suggested it). If the baby has no face though, it can’t see the scary, or hear it, or cry (and get in trouble) or smell anything. The baby doesn’t know if anyone is coming, if they are good or bad, until whatever it is that’s going to happen will happen. It kinda protects the baby, but it also scares him… Dr C was looking for something. In the time she was searching, I grew more and more uncomfortable looking at the baby I had painted. I wanted to scribble over it, or spill paint over it – anything to obliterate the image of the kid. I censored telling Dr C that I wanted to erase the kid from the page. Instead, I asked what we were going to do with the baby because it was making me uncomfortable looking at it (what an understatement!). She said we were going to to make the baby safe. I had no idea what to do, so I tried to draw a protective person in the picture. Unfortunately, she turned out scary. I wasn’t sure how to fix it. I did a few other layers but it was only making everything worse. Dr C offered to help. She drew in someone holding the baby. I added a blanket to cover him… then time was up. As we were cleaning up, she asked if the baby was safe now… I told her he was “safer”, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call him safe. I blew out of there somewhat fast after cleaning up. I wanted to stay and change the picture more, but her light had gone off (indicating another client was waiting). I also felt like I needed to run away from there. It felt like trying to make the kid in the picture safe was a forced thing and wouldn’t really actually do anything to keep him safe. It felt like a facade…

Suddenly I’m out of that head-space. I know I have reactions to things, but once it disappears, it feels foreign. Those walls are back again, and are really high and thick. It feels like all my experiences happen in isolation chambers. If I’m not in the chamber, I really have no concept of what goes on there. I guess that’s the dissociation… I should ask Dr. C what the new name is for that diagnosis. It used to be DD:NOS, but I know the newest DSM changed that. I definitely have isolated experiences, but they are not so severely isolated that I would have “alters”. I just can’t really access much of the experiences unless I’m in that particular head-space. I may know they happened (or the general gist of it, most of the time… there used to be a time where I totally had no memory at all of days or even months), I just understand them as something someone else described to me once…

I should stop writing. My head is beginning to spin, and I’m losing focus on what I want to say.


Can’t ground today

Normally, work helps me ground. Hanging around with a bunch of dogs is a lot like hanging around with a bunch of kids: you have to be present or they get into trouble. Unfortunately, no amount of hanging around and trying to be present with them is helping the body memories.

I didn’t sleep well at all last night. I’m sure that’s not helping either.

Last night, I told L some of the stuff behind the body memories. She says some of my relationship and sexual issues makes more sense now… it’s weird, because when I was telling her, it felt real. This morning it feels like stuff I’m making up in an attempt to excuse my choices.

Yesterday Dr C asked what else I’d be losing by choosing to believe the memories and the stories I’ve ascribed to them… she’s suggested I’d have to give up the identity of being a drama queen. It’s not exactly an identity I like, but it’s somehow easier to deal with than having to come to terms with my life being much different than I remember… give me psychosis, histrionics, and mental defect over sexual abuse any day. At least that way I don’t have to be mad at anyone but myself. I don’t have to understand my life different than I do now. I can continue to hate myself (it’s so much safer).

I’m so tired of dealing with all this. I’m tired of the memories and the body sensations and fear. I just want to be done with it all…

I get to leave early today because we don’t have enough dogs for me to stay. I’m kinda glad. I’ll get to maybe nap (since I think I got a total of 3 hours of sleep last night in 10-minute increments)… I also see Dr C again tonight. It seemed like a good idea last night. Hopefully it’s still a good idea. There’s a lot going on at the moment. I can’t afford to crash land back onto the psych unit (I just hope I don’t wear her out on me).


on trust

Someone on a forum asked about trusting people in life. I believe she meant it in terms of trusting someone to not hurt her, but I defined trust slightly differently. I took it in a more universal scope…

I don’t trust anyone 100%. I trust my wife the most, though I don’t burden her with most of my trauma stuff. I trust her to work on the relationship. I trust her to call me out on my crap. I trust her to tell me when something is bugging her… I trust my critters. They are easy to figure out and rarely have ulterior motives except maybe food and adventure… I can build trust with a therapist. I trusted TM to work with me on what I brought to therapy. I trusted her to be open to helping me figure out my reactions. I trusted her to help build that trust, and to work with my best interests in mind within the bounds of her expertise and ability. I’ve trusted the same with some past therapists… I trust other members of my family to live up to what I have experienced from them in the past. I trust my dad will continue to be an abusive *** who will never learn. I trust my mom will be distant and in denial but loving in her own way. I trust my brother to be a geek and creative and funny but not emotionally accessible. I trust my wife, my mom, and my brother will be there for me. I trust my dad will push the boundaries I put up and bulldoze them (or try his best to do so). I trust his oldest sister will forever be crazy, abusive, and a plight on society. I trust my best friends to be people I can always come back to regardless of the time and distance between us…
So I guess you can say I trust a bunch of people, just in different ways.
I wish I was able to trust someone completely in a positive way, but I don’t even trust myself completely. People will come and go. Critters will come and go. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but I trust certain people will do their best to be loving… I also trust everyone is imperfect…

Who do you trust? How do you define that trust?


Thank you :)

Thank you for the wonderful words of support around my last entry. You all rock and know how to make a girl feel loved! the entry came about when thinking about the question of why goodbyes are so hard. I’ve been told I have a particularly difficult time with them (they can be excruciating). There’s more to my reasoning than what I talk about there, but I’m not ready to express that publicly just yet (it’s nothing major, just a confirmation of what I’ve suspected in relation to where my attitudes originate)…

I do have to admit though, I’m feeling like a fraud reading your amazingly wonderful comments. The inner critic doesn’t even let me finish reading before she starts on her tirade: “drama queen! You’ve made people lie about wanting you around. You’re fishing for compliments. This is so manipulative. You know you’re not worth anything to anyone. Even L just stays out of pity. People don’t actually like you, they just think you’re pathetic and a decent charity case…” She drones on and on, but you get the gist.

I do my best to block her out and counter her words. Compliments are really difficult for me to take, but I’m learning. So thank you again for your wonderful words of support. They spark my inner critic, but they also help shut her up. You all have no reason to lie. There’s no obligation to like and follow my blog. She needs to stop talking and take a seat for a while 😉


Don’t burst the bubbles (art journal)

That Donna Downey wannabe journal took a turn in another direction. I think I like it though:

image


distractions, gifts, and still not allowing myself to talk about what I need to

I have been throwing myself into my art lately because the holidays suck and because TL and I will be terminating soon (by the end of the year). I had hoped to have TL’s piece finished for her by today, but I screwed up part of it and had to re-do it (still waiting on parts of that to dry before I can move ahead with completion). When I went in, I showed her pics of the 2 big pieces I had been working on without telling her that one was for her. Unprompted, she actually said she liked hers a lot and wanted to buy it once I finished it… I told her it wasn’t for sale and she kinda frowned a bit but then went with asking if it was just a piece for myself. I caved and told her it was a gift for her, that’s why it wasn’t for sale (I was going to avoid telling her about it in case she was going to say she can’t accept gifts)… I’m still kinda blown away that she likes it. I mean, I’m glad she likes it because it would suck if I made it for her and she didn’t, but the thought that anyone would want my art hanging in their place is kinda shocking to me… I dunno…

We also spent a bunch of time talking about what it looks like before I crash so I can step in and do something about it. I was trying to explain to her that I’m getting better at figuring out when things are headed south, but I don’t always know what to do about it. She seemed confident that me knowing the signs and then forcing myself to reach out will help soften the blow. I think it would help more if I knew what I was asking for when reaching out…

I don’t see her next week because of the holiday (though she did tell me to call by Thanksgiving if I wanted to schedule something for the day before or the day after). She’s taking that opportunity to drop us to bi-weekly sessions. That gives us 3 more sessions together. I had meant to spend more time today talking about “what’s next” after we terminate, but identifying signs of a crash, and talking about the value of reaching out took up most of our time. Maybe next session I’ll be able to get around to really talking about it. I don’t want to not have therapy at this point, so it would be great if I could switch to someone else in the agency or if she could help me find someone else, but we never manage to talk about that till the very end when we no longer have time. L pointed out that the tapering-off might be as much for her as it is for me (especially with the holidays coming up). :sigh: I dunno. I want to be good and not be too needy, but at the same time I am starting to feel the impending losses (I’m also going to acknowledge that going up north for only a weekend will suck royally. I’m ok not missing L as intensely when we just talk on the phone. I know seeing her in person will ramp that up again. Walls and denial are easier when the emotions you are trying to deny are not thrown in your face. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t miss this trip for the world, but it’s gonna suck a lot when I have to get on the plane to come back without her)… so yeah, next month will be a fun barrage of missing people… I hate that I get so attached to a therapist. I hate that I can’t bring myself to be ok talking to friends and family when stuff is bugging me. and I hate that emotions always feel so overwhelming…

I was really hoping to avoid more loss before the move, but the universe has other plans apparently. 😦